tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC February 13, 2010 11:00am-12:00pm EST
remembrance of the georgian athlete who died on the luge track near the finish line. it was an opening ceremony that thrust canada on to the world stage, a salute to this nation's history and natural beauty, from its icy landscape to its magical seas and towering trees. but ultimately it was about moments that go beyond borders, and this night, a shared sorrow over one nation's loss. during a practice run friday morning, georgian athlete nodar kumaritashvili was killed when he lost control of his luge, his team and many others competing in his honor. >> may you carry his olympic dream on your shoulders, and compete with his spirit in your hearts. >> reporter: apolo ohno will be among the to first compete as the events get under way today. the 27-year-old's hoping he's on the short track to history. he's just one medal shy of tying
speed skater bonnie blair's winter olympic record. >> i'm staying the course and staying focused. >> reporter: meantime, american downhillers like bode miller and marco sullivan will have to wait for the weather to clear before they see any action. as the olympic flame and hopes shine brightly in vancouver. and also, weather permitting today, the international luge federation has given the green light to open up the luge track again, after olympic officials make a few changes, even though the crash was deemed an accident, they plan on raising the wall in that turn, that deadly turn, and they will also change the ice profile to make the speeds a little bit slower. alex? >> all right, michelle franzen, thank you for that. let's head to whistler, canada, chris jansing has been all morning long. good morning.
what is the reaction, this luge competition following the tragic death of georgian athlete, got to be really tough there today. >> reporter: there's obviously going to be a lot of high emotion in the coming hours as they go to that luge track for the first time since that tragic accident yesterday, and in a very compressed time the international luge federation did a study they looked at the tape very closely and repeatedly and came to the conclusion, you just heard this from michelle, that they believe that this was a problem with the athlete and the steering of the sled and not with the construction of the luge track itself. having said that, over the last several months, there have been serious concerns raised about this track, which is the fastest in the world, and even in the last week, many of the competing athletes have crashed, they've said they're concerned about just how fast it is, particularly for someone who might not have a lot of experience. add the fact that we have a 21-year-old who has only been in the world cup for a couple of seasons and doesn't go to all
the world cup races with the fact he had only had a handful of runs on this track and the fact he's going 88-plus miles per hour, and that combination and the fact that he was off line heading into the final turn proved to be a fatal one. so they're going to continue to look at these conditions today, as the lugers go down and take their practice run but the first luge competition is scheduled for later today. you know there's going to be high emotion and skeleton and bob sled are also on the track. >> we've heard about today's competition. what are some of the key events and athletes to look out for today? >> reporter: mens downhill has been canceled. this was going to be huge, bode miller's return many people were expecting to olympic glory, of course four years ago he spectacularly finished out of the medals competition after being touted as the "it" guy of the competition so he was coming back today but it doesn't look
so bad up there. we've had a lot of fog over the last day or so, but it looks a little better. the combination of snow and precipitation has made them push back the men's downhill competition so bode miller's return is going to have to wait, and then you have, of course, the men's speed track 5000 meters and 1500 meters and we're all waiting to see what happens with apolo anton ohno skating for olympic immortality, he'd like to day bonnie blair's record for the most winter medals ever in the winter olympics and chad hedrick and shani davis take together ice tonight as well in the 5000. alex? >> going to park it in front of the tv all day it seems. thank you very much, chris jansing. >> reporter: yep. don't miss any of the olympic action. watch the games here on msnbc. new details about the big storm that struck the southeast. there is a new snow total for
columbia, south carolina, the official total is now 8.6 inches, that makes it the fifth highest snowfall ever for the city. you may remember it was eighth earlier. charleston, south carolina also gets snow, the most snow in a decade. we hear more snow in the forecast, michelle grossman. >> a couple of days monday into tuesday. you mentioned parking yourself in front of the tv, the southeast a good place to do and the northeast snow showers reaching parts of central pennsylvania, looking at winter radar the lake-effect snow showers the lake-effect snow machine is still on, buffalo getting snow showers, it is cold everywhere along the east coast. 28 degrees in new york city, 27 in philadelphia, 25 in albany, it is 28 degrees in hartford, factor in the winds it feels like the teens in most spots, feels like 19 in new york, feels like 17 in philadelphia, feels like just 24 degrees in hartford so the forecast today, bundle up as you head out.
the snowpack on the ground is hard to warm things up with that in place. 33 will be the high in new york city. philadelphia one degree above freezing and hartford 35 and boston 36 degrees. so love is in the air, we want to warm up. it's cold. valentine's day is tomorrow, kind of snuck up on us. valentine, nebraska, 17 degrees, they need warmth there. loveland, colorado, lovejoy, georgia, 47, lovelady, texas, 59 and romeo, michigan, 32 so an early happy valentine's day to you, alex. >> thank you, right back at you, michelle grossman. >> thanks. three to five inches of snow he fell in atlanta. the snow is gone through plunging temperatures turning the we had roadways to ice. bus service is canceled today in atlanta, highway officials from texas to south carolina are continuously urging motorists to use extra caution on all the slick roads out there. and a midwest clipper expected to dump snow from north
dakota to kentucky. get the latest weather on weather.com. chris warren is in atlanta with the latest from there. you were talking black ice earlier. that still the concern? >> reporter: well it's going to be a concern as we get into tonight and to tomorrow. there's still snow on the ground in some areas, especially the less traveled streets. so while the main roads, the main interstates are looking pretty good, the concern throughout the day will be the areas that are in the shade, where it takes a little bit longer for things to melt, and the side streets, where you have that snow that really just didn't go away and it's going to take a little bit longer. the sun is doing its job, it's melting the snow, when we first came in a few hours ago or came down here a few hours ago there was snow covering this entire thing right here and as we made our way through the day we've been watching it melt and the back part of it is now dry, that's what we'll need to avoid the danger by tomorrow morning, because we still have this melting snow, there's still ice out here, and as we get into the overnight hours, even once the sun goes down and temperatures start to fall, any moisture
that's on the road will likely freeze, alex, and the problem with that is you're going to be dealing with black ice. you might be driving around and see pretty good roads in the morning especially first thing there could be black ice and going to take you another day before we dry things out and it looks like that will be coming at least here throughout much of the south. you have to give it a little bit of time before we are back to normal. >> okay, chris warren, thanks for keeping an eye on things from atlanta for us, appreciate that. let's go. to the breaking news this morning in afghanistan, the u.s. military says two nato troops have been killed in a massive military operation that's under way right now, it is the biggest offensive since the actual invasion of afghanistan in 2001. there are 60 helicopters. in the sky and thousands of coalition and afghan troops on the ground, storming the town of marja in southern helmand province, a taliban stronghold. a spokesman insists afghan insurgents are still in control of marja. the first major offensive
since the president ordered 30,000 additional troops to afghanistan in december. mike viqueir ais the the white house. >> reporter: it's called mushrtareqt translates to together, it's u.s. and afghan regulars some 15,000 troops in all we're told attacking the southern stronghold around the city of marja. a lot of nighttime fighting there, american allied forces typically have the advantage with the technology they have, we've often seen that happen in the past. they're entering this town said to be a taliban stronghold. so far two u.s. casualties reported and some 20 enemy casualties as the battle rages. this is a very conventional style battle. during the slib bradeliberationn the white house at the fall in the meetings with the situation
room with the national security team, they formulated a new strategy and with the troops that will ultimately be inserted, 30,000 more troops into afghanistan. one of the concerns were civilian casualties had to limit collateral damage among the afghan populations which does so much to hurt the effort in terms of the morale of the afghan people and the with the coming support they give to troops. it's a concern there are so many booby traps, land mines, ieds as you might imagine allied troops are facing as they continue this operation. >> okay, mike viqueira at the white house, thanks so much. >> reporter: certainly. an issue dividing america and this historic winter is fueling the fight over global warming. also ahead we'll take you to the front lines of security at the winter olympics, to see how authorities are trying to protect those games.
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it's :15 in the morning nearly in vancouver, that's the site of the winter olympic games and there is the olympic flame, having been lit last night, burning brightly through the night as we've seen all morning long on "misnabbing saturday" still burning bright despite the sun coming up, it will continue to do so through the closing ceremonies february 28, such an exciting time. beyond the thousands of athletes and spectators attending the games there's another huge presence in vancouver, the visible display of security. peater alexander looks at the challenge of keeping the olympics safe. >> reporter: it may be the most recognizable uniform at these olympics, canadian royal mounted police, 15,000 now assembled to
protect the largest city ever to host a winter games. vancouver's $900 million security blanket includes nearly 1,000 surveillance cameras, monitoring venues and city streets, divers sweeping the harbor. >> getting a little too close. >> reporter: and military helicopters patrolling the busy air space. security officials so far insist there is no specific threat to these games. >> certainly a terrorist attack threat a seismic event, we've all seen the damage that could cause. those are all terrible and those would call for a lot of resources and a lot of deployment. >> reporter: at the ten olympic venues spectators will be met by the same intense screening they'd find at an airport, x-ray machines, metal detectors and explosive sniffing dogs. game organizers are warning ticketholders to arrive as early as three hours in advance of scheduled events. are you ready? >> yeah, we are, absolutely. >> reporter: bud mercer is canada's top security officer assigned to keeping these games safe. >> we've planned for the worst,
we've exercised for the worst. we've been evaluated for the worst but we obviously hope for the best. >> reporter: that planning process dates back seven years, a complex challenge to secure more than 4,000 square miles, from vancouver, home to more than 2 million people, to the mountain resort of whistler, site of the alpine events. >> the real problem is not olympic facilities. it's potential soft targets, transportation, hotels, any area where large numbers of people are going to gather. >> reporter: also cause for concern, a dizzying mix of ferries, sea planes and container ships, all possible terrorist targets. canadian officials hope to strike a delicate balance between sports celebration and security. >> the focus is still on the athletes, and their life-long achievements to get them here, that should be the focus, not security and finding that balance is something that we strive for every day. >> reporter: peter alexander, nbc news, vancouver. and for the latest olympics results including medal counts
and the complete schedule of events logon to be inningolympics.com. nbc olympics.com. republican politicians are lobbying political snowballs at al gore in the wake of massive storms that blanketed d.c. in more than 28 inches of snow. south carolina senator jim demint twited "it's going to keep snowing in d.c. until al gore cries uncle" and republican james inhofe built an igloo and calls it "al gore's new home" but the scientists say the blizzards actually support theorys about climate change. i'm joined by washington, d.c., political analyst pat buchanan and democratic strategist peter fenn. hello, guys. >> hello alex. >> the snow and the aftermath, all that chilly between so many of the parties. pat could the snowstorm affect climate change legislation? >> i think climate change legislation in the form of cap
and trade is completely dead. the house passed it, a lot of folks walked the plank, alex, but it is not going to go through the senate. while these are horrendous snowstorms, the worst in washington, d.c., history, and i grew up here, this may not say anything one way or the other about global warming as a practical, political matter, when the country is buried under ice and snow repeatedly this winter, the public argument for getting cap and trade is dead. >> peter your thoughts there? >> well, i would hope that this doesn't affect science in the congress here, but i have to admit as i was shoveling today, i said where's al gore now that i need him. it got pretty brutal out there. in all seriousness, the argument is that these radical changes in weather patterns are an indication that there is a serious problem out there with global warming. >> yes.
>> you even got pat's friend sarah palin saying she's watching the ice melt up there in alaska. >> girlfriend. >> you know, alex, alex? >> yes. >> a big problem with global warming and climate change is a lot of hoaxes. there's no doubt that the arctic ice mass at the north pole is shrinking but the south pole is expanding. then that u.n. group said the himalayan ice cap is melting, and then you find out they took it out of some guy's graduate thesis. so there's a lot of hoaxes that have been exposed, a lot of fraud, a lot of fixing of e-mails that is killing the movement. >> but i want to get to what dana milbank writes in "the washington post," "warming theory suggests that you'd see trends toward heavier snows, because warmer air carries more moisture." and that moist air entered with subfreezing temperatures, so shouldn't they back off the
single event because it may not prove their point? >> well, look, people are going to use it for political reasons, just like inhofe is using it and demint is using it, and i can't blame them. the truth is, alex, that again a lot of the claims of the global warming folks, take the hurricanes in 2005, four hit the united states, they said that's the reason for that is global warming. and now we've had a very mild series of hurricane seasons, and they say you can't use that. the point is, there are political arguments being trumped repeatedly and i think that's why they got a real problem. >> to that end, peter, dana milbank argues it does belong to the climate change activist he writes "gore in his famous slide shows ties human-caused global warming to increasing hurricanes, tornadoes, floods. the problem is that his storm stories have conditioned people to expect an endless worldwide heat wave when in fact the changes so far are subtle." do you think that democrats are getting a bit of a taste of
their own medicine here? >> well, i tell you, if you do look at the graph on the temperatures over the last 100 years, you do see it drop, and excuse me, you see it getting more warmer, actually increasing in terms of if the top of the graph is, you know, is warmer. >> yeah. >> because the problem is, though, alex, that the arguments that gore is making, and others, are based on really sound science. some of the arguments that we're hearing from the other side are not really based on sound science and milbank's point is right. latest storm came from the south off the coast and the warm air meeting with cold at the top gave us all the precipitation so i mean the radicalization of weather patterns is a rather scary thing, so hopefully we can get some legislation passed even if it's not cap and trade. >> okay. >> but i think as a practical matter, alex, cap and trade is a goner, and a lot of house
members who are good friends of peter's who are really regretting the fact they voted for it and looking outside i think a new ice age is upon us. [ laughter ] >> certainly have you moved that navigator out of your driveway yet there, pat, that was your excuse for not showing up last week. >> some nice hispanic fellows came and dug me out. >> all right. oh, guys. talk to you again soon, boys. pat buchanan, peter fenn, bye guys. still ahead the poll position of president obama, is he rebounding from a slide in approval? we'll look at that. we'll take you back to vancouver where the first full day of competition is about to get under way. stay with us. you're watching "msnbc saturday." with lines and wrinkl. not surgery. this is our way to do your eyes. new regenerist anti-aging eye roller. hi, may i help you? yes, i hear progressive has lots of discounts on car insurance.
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morning. we've seen the flames burning brightly through the night, a focal point for all eyes trained on the vancouver winter olympics of 2010. our olympics coverage coming up shortly. an alabama college camp success in mourning this weekend after another tragic school shooting, this one involving faculty. a university of huntsville biology professor is charged with one count of capital murder. amy bishop brought a gun on campus and opened fire during a faculty meeting, killing three professors and injuring three others. those stunned an otherwise peaceful community. >> this town is not accustomed to shootings and having multiple deaths so it's a shock to everyone on campus, it's tragic. >> investigators believe bishop was disgruntled after being passed over for tenure earlier that morning by the school. still ahead, why the obama administration may be changing its mind how to prosecute terror suspects. you're watching "msnbc saturday." passion for them, are legendary.
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at half past the hour, another look at the flame bearer, the olympic flame the cauldron, four of them there, burning very, very brightly there in vancouver, overlooking the harbor at 8:30 in the morning vancouver time, burning brightly through the night, burning through february 28th. we're keeping an eye on what's happening at whistler at the press center, making some statements about the plans for the luge track, of course this in the wake of the georgian athlete, the 21-year-old killed yesterday during that practice run, marring the beginning of those games. and also big news this morning these olympic headlines to share with you, the u.s. skiing sensation bode miller has to wait at least one more day to compete. nbc confirmed the downhill competition has been canceled because of the slushy course. olympic officials are making
some changes after the georgian athlete was killed during a practice run yesterday and several star athletes from the u.s. are scheduled to compete and among them apolo ohno kits the rink for the 1500 meter short strak atrack and shani da chad hedrick will compete in the 500 later today. michele franzen what are you hearing following the tragic death of the georgian athlete and changes forthcoming? >> reporter: certainly some changes but the international luge federation ruled that crash was accidental, that there didn't seem to be a defect with the track itself, with the ice itself. the olympic organizers, though, say that they will be making some additions to the wall area, that 16th turn where that deadly crash occurred. they're going to extend the wall on that section up above the steel pylons where the luger
crashed on that day, and they're also talking about changing the profile of the ice in that section, and what that means is that just changing the elements a little bit, so the ice wouldn't be as fast. there's been a lot of talk about just how fast this luge track is, it's the fastest now in the world, as we mentioned nodar kumaritashvili, of course, going nearly 90 miles an hour when he took that turn and other athletes who have been on that track and practiced on that track said themselves it is much faster than what they expected. we're also waiting word from the international luge federation, supposed to hold a press conference shortly to talk about autopsy findings for the 21-year-old georgian athlete, and certainly the georgian team deciding to move forward with their own quest for medals in honor of him. there's only seven members now left of the georgian contingent
and interesting to mention that his family, his father, is the president of the georgian luge federation, and his cousin was the team's coach so certainly a very family-oriented sport, and certainly they're mourning at this time as well as all his other teammates. >> right. michelle, with regard to the key events and stars we should be watching today, who is on your list? >> reporter: well, certainly you mentioned earlier apolo ohno will be speed skating today going for what could be another medal adding to his record, that would tie speed skater bonnie blair. we have the biathlon that starts today, ski jumping also under way so a lot of events that aren't contingent on the weather should stay and should hold for those competitions, as you can see behind me, a little bit of fog, and rain moving in, that is the north vancouver back there, and now you're looking at the
cauldron, the moguls should also still be going on for the women's that, holds no matter if there's rape. the only problem that would stop competition for that we are told is the fog because judges need to be able to see the athletes as they're coming down that mountain. >> makes sense. michelle franzen, thank you. catch the winter olympic games in vancouver on the networks of nbc, that includes right here on msnbc. from there now to the breaking news in afghanistan the u.s. military says two nato troops were killed during the massive offensive under way right now in marjeh, this is the biggest coordinated mush since the invasion of afghanistan in 2001. a taliban spokesman insists afghan insurgents are still in control of the area. from there now to the pending trial of alleged 9/11 mastermind khalid sheikh mohammed, the obama administration appears to be weighing on whether or not to try him in a civilian court, after backing down plans to hold
the try in new york city. this morning republicans are continuing to pressure the president into opting for a military trial. >> now is not the time to go back to the pre-9/11 mentality of fighting crime instead of fighting a war. a civilian trial of hard core terrorists is unnecessarily dangerous and creates more problems than it solves. >> evan coleman, an nbc terrorism analyst. good morning. >> good morning. >> read the tea leaves here, is this going to a military court? >> it's a very good question. one of the biggest problems they're having with the nimby problem, not in my backyard. senators, congressmen, mayors are coming forward and saying we don't want it here. we don't want it here. we don't want it there. well if it's going to be a civilian jurisdiction, where is it going to be. the options are dwindling and new york was one of the big options, and now we're seeing a lot of pushback, not just from the mayor here but from a lot of even democratic congressmen a lies of president obama, who are saying we don't want this here.
>> right. hold that thought. we're taking to everyone whistler, vancouver, the secretary of international luge federation. hear what they're saying about the tragedy in the olympics. >> the angle in which it did so resulted in him experiencing a g force that literally collapsed his body, rendering it difficult to control the sled, which in this case he was not able to do. once this happened, he was literally at the mercy of the path of the sled. at the exit of curve 16, he hit the wall. this resulted in him being catapulted onto the top of the wall, resulting in the fatal crash. at this stage, i would like to echo what the republic of
georgia's sports minister stated in his press conference. nodar was a good athlete. he had 26 runs on the whistler track. this is a large number of runs for an athlete of his caliber. nodar participated in five world cups this year and was ranked 44th in our world cup standings. finally, i want to state that this is, to our knowledge, the first fatality in luge since december 10th, 1975, when an italian luger suffered fatal injuries in a luge event. as such, i hope you can appreciate our unfamiliarity in dealing with a tragic event like this. as for moving forward, the jury has made a decision to lower the
men's competition start to the current women's start. the track crew has also overnight raised the wall where the accident happened, in addition to some ice profile changes that was made at the site as well. also, the technical delegates and the jury are currently working with the track management to adjust the women's and double starts as a precautionary measure. as soon as a decision has been made on this, we will inform you. the bottom line is that the decisions made are to deal with the emotional component for the athletes to alleviate as best as possible the traumatic experience of this tragic event. >> well, i think i'm taking over
here. yesterday was by far the toughest day of my life, dealing in the sport event management and i think for the whole venue team was a pretty rough day. my heart definitely goes out to the family, to have your son go, compete at the olympics, and have this is something difficult to deal with. we've always wanted to ensure a safe and fairfield of play, and we've worked diligently with both federations on this track. it started in the early days with the site selection. we walked the center line with both the president and secretary-general way back. we worked together on the design. we worked together with the construction, and the process of getting athletes on that track was a long one, and a safe one to make sure that everyone that went down that track stepped up at each of the starts and really were familiar with that track.
so for us, we believe in terms of the things that we did as an organizing committee working with the international federations, we did everything in our power to make sure we made that track as safe as we can. largely what you're hearing is a fast track, there's no denying that, and this is something when you design a track, it's largely done with a computer, on a train that we deal with, and then we work, when we start putting ice on it, how we manage that track, so for us, it is quick but we've made a lot of measures with the federation to ensure that the athletes going there were confident to get down. we've had a great experience in the past two years. we've put down about 5,000 runs on that track. we had a great season last year with our test events for all three disciplines, and had very strong reviews. from all the athletes and officials of the track.
so we're quite confident on where we are and largely this is an unprecedented situation, and something that we've taken very, very seriously. in dealing with that there is a bunch of measures that mr. rohmstad made in changes that we made and this is to ensure the athletes that have to get on the ice do so in a positive way. we still want an olympic competition but we have to be respectful of athletes that their friend died on that track, and that's why we want to make sure that they're able to step on there with confidence and get down and have an olympic competition. so for us, we're moving forward. it is something that is very difficult for us in our venue team to deal with. >> all right and you're listening to the news conference being held live there from the
international luge federation, those officials from canada. the big headline here in the wake of that tragedy yesterday 21-year-old georgian athlete who was killed on that track. it would seem they're now going to change the starting point, men started at a higher place than either the female lugers or the doubles competition competitors would start from and it appears they'll lower the men's starting point to this point not necessarily because they believe it's an unsafe track. they were talking about the emotions surrounding the entire venue for those that are competing, it's a very small community, and people, of course, very upset about what happened, this tragedy yesterday. pablo torre has been here from "sports illustrated." is that what you take from this, it's more of an emotional thing they are trying to appeal to, to keep this a hard core olympics competition? >> there is certainly an emotional dimension but that strikes me as slightly disingenuous. the reason the changes are being
made structurally is because the course was by design relatively unsafe. one of the criticisms i have with what was just said is that they sort of want to make it seem like the athletes all signed off on this, they're fine. there was no formal protest but there was an undercurrent of dissatisfaction for two reasons, one is that this course is the fastest in the world. i think context is important here. this course reached a top speed of 96 miles an hour. the event usually takes place at 80 to 85, that's the first thing and athletes have been noting that and the second thing they weren't allowed, non-canadian athletes weren't allowed in their mind sufficient practice time. there's gamesmanship involved with the canadian olympic commission but it wasn't as open as they would have liked it to be. this whole event is unfortunate, i understand there's political massaging that needs to go on at this point but the bottom line something that wasn't completely out of left field. there were definite structural problems, and to say emotions are the motivating factor in
changing them strikes me as a bit dison e, given a death just happened because of the course. >> something tells me it is not the final word. pablo torre from "sports illustrated" thank you. >> of course. a new poll on the tea party and sarah palin. what do those numbers say? we'll show you ahead on "msnbc saturday." rogaine? i'm just a skeptic so i don't necessarily believe that anything is going to work but i was like, hey, this actually works. (announcer) only rogaine foam is shown to regrow hair in 85% of guys. i'll check it out and i'm like, nice. (announcer) rogain foam. stop losing. start gaining.
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♪ if you're nice to me i'll share some with you ♪ ♪ you take one down ( and pass it around ) ♪ ♪ 98 boxes of raisin bran crunch ♪ three tasty ingredients, one great combination. ♪ raisin bran crunch! from kellogg! the past hour vancouver at 8:47 in the morning with the olympic flame burning brightly, a couple of things to watch out for today, apolo ohno taking to the 1500 meter short track, a big competition. also the flying tomato shaun white will dazzle the crowds in the half pike. he's hoping to claim gold, we'll be watching on msnbc and the networks of nbc universal. let's go to politics and poor marks for the federal government. more than two-thirds of americans are either angry or dissatisfied with the way washington works. this is according to the latest
abc news/"washington post" poll. philip rutgers, national reporter for "the washington post," how are you. >> good morning. >> you report this dissatisfaction with the government is at its highest level in a decade, according to your polling, philip, what is driving the discontent? >> people are very upset about federal spending. we asked on average sort of how much of the tax dollar do they believe is being wasted and the average result was 53 cents on every dollar that comes into washington americans feel is being wasted and that's fueling great dissatisfaction and anger across the electorate, across the country, at levels we haven't seen since the mid 1990s. >> on the heels of what you're saying, you'd think all of this anger with the federal government would benefit the anti-washington tea party, and yet your poll -- >> that's right. >> -- finds 40% of americans hold an unfavorable view of that movement and a quarter of americans have no opinion at
all. 35% view the movement favorably. are you surprised by this? >> we were, actually. this is a movement that grew up at the grassroots level about a year ago in those protests in the town hall, protests over health care and stimulus spending. i was in nashville last weekend for their convention which got huge news coverage teen discover that such a huge percentage of the country but clear, this is a group, a movement that could benefit from this anger up there. >> yeah. but i want to get some further republican perspective of this moment. you report that two-thirds of self-proclaimed republicans support the movement. 33% of not very strong republicans don't. are there lessons to be learned here? >> there are. i think that polling number that you just cited is a real indication of a split within the
republican party. strategists have been telling us about this for months mow. there is a portion of the party that has very much embraced the tea party movement. we've seen that with sarah palin. but there are a lot of establishment figures in the party that have shunned this movement and don't quite know what to make of it. what's interesting, alex, is the tea party movement is not necessarily made up of republicans. these are people who in many cases independents and some of them voted for democrats in the last election, but they're fiscally conservative. >> i've got to get to this sarah palin angle. the poll finds that her approval rating is dropping. 55% of americans have an unfavorable opinion of her. and when asked if palin is capable of being president, 71% say no, she's not. if so, can she bounce back from these numbers? >> i don't know. this is a really bad poll for
her. she's at her lowest level that we've seen since the "washington post" has since she was named to be nominee. that 71% believing that she's unqualified was a startling figure. even within republicans, a majority say they believe she does not have the qualifications to be president. that's very damaging for her and it's something she's going to have to overcome if she wants to mount a serious challenge in 2012. >> phillip, thanks. straight ahead, what's ahead for olympians on this first full day of the winter olympics. [ female announcer ] the latest athletic fabrics
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meter short track. that begins at 5:00 p.m. central time. the semifinals take place an hour after that. also today, speed skaters chad hendrick will be getting into action with the 5,000 meter race. in addition to the games, the weather is one of the top talkers. in fact, today's men's downhill snow skiing had to be canceled and moved to monday due to slushy slopes there. michelle grossman is joining me now to get a look at the weather in vancouver. what is it looking like? >> we're seeing a series of fronts moving to the pacific. that is a problem we're going to see late today and late into the weekend. you can see that green on the map. that's indicating rain, higher level snow falling, also. 46 degrees in seattle, 46 in portland. it is cool on the west coast,
but it could be colder. forecast on the west coast, 55 in portland, 53 in seattle. you see the snow falling in jackson, salt lake city. so the olympic forecast today, 51 degrees, cool, cloudy with a chance of rain. alex. >> rain is not good, but we'll take it. thanks so much, michelle grossman. stay with us with the headline updates and is braking news as it happens. i'm alex witt. wake up with me tomorrow morning. i'm be looking for you, 8:00 a.m. eastern time. have yourself a great day. it g. it shows. it slides. it tows. it sees. it calls. and it fits. we gave it more ideas per square inch... because more is what we do. introducing the terrain, the all-new smaller suv from gmc. always well made.
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